Monday, December 21, 2015

Word of the day: rebec

The word of the day is rebec:

  1. a Renaissance fiddle with a pear-shaped body tapering into a neck that ends in a sickle-shaped or scroll-shaped pegbox.
"medieval stringed musical instrument," 1509, from Fr. rebec, an unexplained alteration of O.Fr. ribabe (perhaps somehow infl. by bec "beak"), ultimately from Arabic rebab (cf. O.Prov. rebec, It. ribeca). It has three strings and is played with a bow.


"Behind the canoe armada was a floating orchestra of horns, pipes, and rebecs like three-stringed lutes."

 - Charles Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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